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by David Knott

If you take a closer look at the Rules Cyclopaedia or the Master DM's book (or in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, for that matter), you will notice something very interesting -- although the drake is described as resembling a dragon, nowhere in any rule set is it actually stated that drakes are related to dragons. In terms of game mechanics, the only real difference between drakes in PC 1 and in other sources is that the drakes in PC 1 have the "Invisibility to Mortals" and "Second Sight" abilities.

I would suggest that, just as the humanoid forms of drakes are based on those of real humanoid races, their drake forms are based on those of real creatures that were related to dragons. Just as mandrakes can fool humans into believing into believing that they (mandrakes) are human, it is also possible for dragons to mistake them for distant relatives. However, the fear aura given off by dragons would prevent those drakes who remember their origins (and thus have the unique fairy abilities from PC 1) from daring to try to pass for dragon-kin-- but those drakes who have forgotten their origins would have no such difficulty.

As for the "helldrakes" suggested in an earlier post, they are fairly easy to extrapolate from the existing drakes. I would suggest that they are dark red in colour in their natural forms, and originally had a single beastman form that they could assume. However, since the descendants of the beast- men have now evolved into distinct goblinoid races, the helldrakes have kept up. To determine the goblinoid forms that a helldrake can assume, roll d6 twice:

1 kobold
2 goblin
3 orc
4 hobgoblin
5 bugbear
6 ogre

Drakes in goblinoid form appear as adults unless they look like bugbears ("teenager", 6' tall) or ogres ("youngster", 7' tall).

(Gnolls were omitted because of their relatively recent origin, while trolls were omitted because drakes do not make very convincing trolls without the ability to regenerate damage.)

If the same race is rolled twice, then the drake has only one form -- but he spends most of his time in that form and may even have power and influence among his supposed kind. If his goblinoid form is that of a bugbear or ogre, then experience will eventually enable him to look older but not larger -- he will always remain a "runt".

Helldrakes prefer to live in warm to hot subterranean conditions. Like other drakes, they are omnivorous, highly intelligent, have treasure type R (E), AC 0, movement 12 (3 (D) flying), are immune to spells of 4th level or less, have steady (12) morale, and have the abilities of 5th level thieves.

Helldrakes have 2 hit dice, attack in natural form with claws and teeth for 1d2/1d2/1d4 damage, and are highly variable in size, measuring anywhere from 3' (size S) to 7' (size L) in length. As renegades from drake society, most are lawful in alignment, although a few (those with only one goblinoid form available) are neutral. In AD&D terms, more are evil than good. XP award for defeating helldrakes is 175.